Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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All the mountaineers are frugal, their beverage is water, they sleep on the ground, and wear a profuse quantity of long hair after the fashion of women, which they bind around the forehead when they go to battle. [Note] They subsist principally on the flesh of the goat, which animal they sacrifice to Mars, as also prisoners taken in war, and horses. They likewise offer hecatombs of each kind after the manner of the Greeks, described by Pindar, To sacrifice a hundred of every [species]. [Note]
They practise gymnastic exercises, [Note] both as heavy-armed soldiers, and cavalry, also boxing, running, skirmishing, and fighting in bands. For two-thirds of the year the mountaineers feed on the acorn, which they dry, bruise, and afterwards grind and make into a kind of bread, which may be stored up for a long period. They also use beer; wine is very scarce, and what is made they speedily consume in feasting with their relatives. In place of oil they use butter. Their meals they take sitting, on seats put up round the walls, and they take place on these according to their age and rank. The supper is carried round, and whilst drinking they dance to the sound of the flute and trumpet, springing up and sinking upon the knees. [Note]

In Bastetania the women dance promiscuously with the men, each holding the other's hand. They all dress in black, the majority of them in cloaks called saga, in which they sleep on beds of straw. They make use of wooden vessels like the Kelts. The women wear dresses and embroidered garments. Instead of money, those who dwell far in the interior exchange merchandise, or give pieces of silver cut off

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from plates of that metal. Those condemned to death are executed by stoning; parricides are put to death without the frontiers or the cities. They marry according to the customs of the Greeks. [Note] Their sick they expose upon the highways, in the same way as the Egyptians [Note] did anciently, in the hope that some one who has experienced the malady may be able to give them advice. Up to the time of [the expedition of] Brutus they made use of vessels constructed of skins for crossing the lagoons formed by the tides; they now have them formed out of the single trunk of a tree, but these are scarce. Their salt is purple, but becomes white by pounding. The life of the mountaineers is such as I have described, I mean those bordering the northern side of Iberia, the Gallicians, the Asturians, and the Cantabrians, [Note] as far as the Vascons [Note] and the Pyrenees. The mode of life amongst all these is similar. But I am reluctant to fill my page with their names, and would fain escape the disagreeable task of writing them, unless perchance the Pleutauri, the Bardyetæ, the Allotriges, [Note] and other names still worse and more out of the way than these might be grateful to the ear of some one. 3.3.8

The rough and savage manners of these people is not alone owing to their wars, but likewise to their isolated position, it being a long distance to reach them, whether by sea or land. Thus the difficulty of communication has deprived

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them both of generosity of manners and of courtesy. At the present time, however, they suffer less from this both on account of their being at peace and the intermixture of Romans. Wherever these [influences] are not so much experienced people are harsher and more savage. It is probable that this ruggedness of character is increased by the barrenness of the mountains and some of the places which they inhabit. At the present day, as I have remarked, all warfare is put an end to, Augustus Cæsar having subdued the Cantabrians [Note] and the neighbouring nations, amongst whom the system of pillage was mainly carried on in our day. So that at the present time, instead of plundering the allies of the Romans, the Coniaci and those who dwell by the sources of the Ebro, [Note] with the exception of the Tuisi, [Note] bear arms for the Romans. Tiberius, who succeeded Augustus Cæsar, carried out his intention of placing a military force of three legions in these parts, by which means he has not only preserved peace, but introduced amongst some of them a civil polity.


WHAT remains [to be described] of Iberia, is the seacoast of the Mediterranean from the Pillars to the Pyrenees, and the whole of the inland country which lies above. The breadth of this is irregular, its length a little above 4000 stadia. It has been remarked that the sea-coast [Note] is above 2000 stadia, and they say that from Mount Calpe, [Note] which is near the Pillars, to New Carthage, [Note] there are 2200 stadia. This coast is inhabited by the Bastetani, also called the Bastuli, and in part by the Oretani. Thence [Note] to the Ebro the distance is nearly as great. This [region] is inhabited by the Edetani. On this side the Ebro to the Pyrenees and the Trophies of Pompey there are 1600 stadia. It is peopled by

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a small portion of the Edetani, and the rest by a people named the Indicetes, divided into four cantons.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 3.3.5 Str. 3.3.8 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 3.4.3

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